September 1, 2021
In this newsletter . . .
As younger seniors, Patty and I led cardio kickboxing classes at a local health club. It was great fun, and of course getting paid to lead classes is always better than paying gym dues. We led the classes for three years or so and I was pushing age 70 when our series ended. Today those workouts (which were known around the gym as “butt kickers”) would do me in, for sure.
As We Age
After that, we worked out together at another health club for a few years. We were steady trainees but tapered off the high-intensity work that we were used to while leading kickboxing classes. It’s what I like to call being age appropriate as the years' pass.
Nowadays, Patty rides a Peloton bike for workouts and loves it. My own cardio consists of daily 40-minute walks with the family dog, Emma. She is seven and
has a lot of pep and also loves to play fetch. The other part of my exercise routine these days involves resistance bands and doing a little stretching.
So as the decades added up, I pared down my exercising from using heavy free weights and playing handball to where I am today. Along the way, there were also martial arts, kettlebells, cross-country skiing, distance running, and swimming. I was never a superstar at any of it, but fairly decent at a couple.
I’ve always liked to
change things up with my workouts, and for a while, I even tossed high-intensity Tabata into the mix. Mixing things up accomplishes two important things. First, avoiding endless repetition of the same activity year after year lessens the chance of stress-related injuries. Second, the newness of doing different workouts keeps your enthusiasm high.
My cardinal rule with any exercise is that if after workouts I’m still tired following a good night’s rest, I know something is wrong. And that usually means overtraining in some way(s), and adjustments should be made.
So where are you, personally, as a senior who is still being active and staying fit? Are you a young senior, say in your fifties or early sixties? If so, some of the Senior Exercise Central workouts such as Supersets, Workout A, Down The Rack, or Four Day splits, may suit you. Even some seniors in their seventies might be able to handle them.
But as we grow older it usually pays to gradually decrease the intensity and/or duration of workouts. Cutting back the number of sets and decreasing the poundages lifted makes sense.
Keep in mind that most of the training information found online, in magazines, or in books is designed for younger people. Measuring yourself against younger generations isn’t realistic and may even be harmful.
Never stop being active but also be reasonable; it usually means a longer and more healthful life.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
Senior Exercise Central
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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
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